Monday, July 29, 2013

Reader's Diary #1043- Tom Franklin: Alaska


This is a pre-scheduled post to appear while my family and I are road tripping through the Yukon and Alaska.

Back in my university days some friends and I became preoccupied with moving to London. We were going to take a year off from school, get pub jobs, a cool flat which we'd decorate with ironic pop culture references, and we'd share our opinions with the Brits at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park. Yes, it got that specific.

Fortunately it didn't happen as I rather like the path I found myself on, the one I'm still on. Still, those fantasies are fun while they last aren't they? Probably even more fun than reality in a lot of cases (but not the glamorous pub job, I'm sure that would have been great). In "Alaska" Tom Franklin has used such a flight of fancy as the entire plot. It's an interesting idea and one that highlights just how self-important and naive we are these moments. However, at an individual level it also serves to reflect our personalities, our hopes and desires, our confidence and insecurities— at least at those specific moments in time. Like a Polaroid photo that has yet to be shaken.

"Alaska" is light on plot, and while it is also lightly amusing, it would have grown tiresome if it had been much longer. Thankfully, just before I realized that the narrator was foreseeing his future by reading his navel lint, the story ended. Whew.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Being a big fan of the navel gaze, I will certainly give this a read. Hope the vacation is going gloriously!